‘The Book Of Khartoum’ Wins 2015 PEN Translates Award

PEN announced thirteen winners of its 2015 “PEN Translates” grants yesterday. Among them was The Book of Khartoum, edited by ArabLit contributors Raphael Cormack and Max Shmookler:

WINNER_PEN_AWARD_20x20mm-150x150PEN also announced “increased opportunities for publishers seeking funding.” In a prepared release, PEN staff wrote:

UK publishers with a turnover of less than £500,000 per annum will be eligible to apply for 100% of the translation costs of a book acquired from another language.

Previously, only publishers with a turnover of less than £100,000 per annum were able to apply for this highest level of grant. All other publishers were eligible for a maximum of 75% of a book’s translation costs.

The winners of this round of grants includes books translated from seven languages. The majority are translated from translated from Spanish (4), French (3), and German (2), but there are also books from the Danish, Tamil, Mandarin, and Arabic.

The Book Of Khartoum, edited by Raphael Cormack & Max Shmookler, also gets a little translational help from a long list of luminaries and friends: Marilyn Booth, Adam Talib, Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Mohammed Ghaylani, Andrew Leber, Elisabeth Jaquette, Sarah Irving, Thoraya El-Rayyes. It’s set to be published by Comma Press.

From Max Shmookler on his process:

Looking for Literature in Khartoum

How To Separate Mediocre, Good, and Great Stories in Translation

‘Institutional and Critical Neglect’ As Part of the Sudanese Writer’s Experience

Other recent awards:

Kareem James Abu-Zeid won the “Northern California Book Award” in the translated poetry category for his translation of Najwan Darwish’s Nothing Left to Lose.